Rich Hillman, Hannah Gray, Randy Veach
Arkansas Farm Bureau Vice President Rich Hillman, left, and President Randy Veach, right, present Hannah Gray of Paragould, Ark., her award for winning the 2017 YF&R Discussion Meet.

Arkansas Farm Bureau honors Young Farmers & Ranchers

Wife matches husband’s Discussion Meet win, sending both back to Nashville

Hannah Gray of Paragould, Ark., an ag teacher at Green County Tech won the Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet at the Arkansas Farm Bureau eighty-third Annual Convention, Nov. 30 in Little Rock. The subject matter discussed among the four finalists was international agricultural trade.

Gray will now compete in January at the American Farm Bureau Federation conference in Nashville, Tenn. Her husband, Cody, was a previous winner of the YF&R Discussion Meet. He, too, competed at the national AFBF conference, which was also in Nashville that year.

“My nerves can finally settle now,” Gray said. “It’s good to be able to promote agriculture. I want to go on and still be a positive voice for agriculture. It’s a huge part of economic growth in Arkansas. That mainly has to do with exports of agriculture products.”

This was Gray’s second year competing in the discussion meet. The event provides a forum for young farm leaders to demonstrate their verbal and problem-solving presentation skills while they discuss their views on issues affecting agriculture. There were 15 competitors in the discussion meet.

Gray, 33, won $7,000 courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. She and her husband run a small cow/calf operation.

Earlier this year, Austin and Amber Kennon of Mountain View won the 2017 YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes young farmers involved in agriculture who get the majority of income off the farm. Farm Bureau honored them last July at its annual Officers & Leaders convention in Hot Springs. Also honored were the 2017 YF&R Achievement Award winners Chris and Breanne Damron of Jonesboro who operate a row-crop farm.

All winners also earned expense-paid trips in January to the American Farm Bureau Federation national conference in Nashville where they’ll compete for national awards.

Source: Arkansas Farm Bureau

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